Advances in technology, the growth of social media, and increased global awareness and investment are providing new and exciting environmental tools. The Foundation began a small program area that invests in organizations that are creating, developing, and implementing new and innovative approaches to sustainability and conservation.

Below are the Foundation’s 2017 grantees through its Innovation portfolio.

Food System 6

General Operating Support - $25,000

Founded in 2014, Food System 6 (FS6) seeks to transform the current industrial food system into a new model focused on improving environmental, physical and social health. FS6 is working to catalyze these changes by identifying and supporting diverse entrepreneurs whose innovations have the potential to lead the way toward this new vision for the food system.

In the center of FS6’s work is an accelerator program for sustainable food enterprises. The four-month program provides tailored support and technical assistance to both non-profit and for-profit early-stage entrepreneurs. By delivering valuable content and programming, including lessons on business model refinement and storytelling, the accelerator is helping entrepreneurs scale their innovations to drive a system-level shift in the food system.


General Operating Support - $50,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)

In Our Backyards (ioby), a New York based organization, is building a national system of civic leaders, citizen philanthropists, and volunteers who create, fund, and implement urban sustainability projects in their neighborhoods. With a focus on Generation X, Millennial leaders of color, and leaders from low-income communities, ioby leaders are primarily served through ioby.org, a crowd-resourcing platform that blends crowd-funding and community organizing. ioby.org delivers meaningful opportunities for participation to neighbors, and stitches together stories of innovation, change, and community building into a larger narrative on the importance of urban revitalization and conservation as a tool to build political will for social and environmental issues.

Not An Alternative

The Natural History Museum - $30,000 (With an additional $20,000 awarded by the Human Rights Program)

The Natural History Museum (NHM), a project of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit art collective Not An Alternative, is a mobile and pop-up museum that highlights the socio-political forces that shape nature. The NHM aims to inspire established science and natural history museums to reevaluate their roles in the midst of the climate crisis. The Natural History Museum acts as a catalyst and connector amongst museum insiders who seek to move their institutions towards greater relevancy, scientists who seek platforms for exercising their expertise in the service of social responsibility, and advocates who want to bring the realities of the excluded into the bigger narratives of science and natural history. Deploying both inside and outside engagement strategies, The Natural History Museum inspires museums to cut ties to fossil fuel interests, to create a new narrative about natural history that educates and measurably influences public opinion, and inspires collective action.

Plastic Solutions Fund

General Operating Support - $200,000

The Plastic Solutions Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Associates, is a new international funders’ collaborative, working together to turn the tide on plastic pollution in our oceans, rivers, land and air. The Fund will promote innovative collaboration among individuals and institutions, support results-oriented grantmaking, and provide a trusted platform for new philanthropic investment in order to prevent plastic pollution. The Fund has created a three-year strategy that supports activities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. The Fund’s primary aim will be to reduce the use of single use plastics.

Grantees by Year: 2019 | 2018  |  2017  |  2016